Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crime in the Country after The Collapse



I found this excellent article from 14 Oct 2002. It explains rather well the type of crime the country endured after the crisis and in many places still does.
Please don’t think this happens here because people are stupid/cowards/whatever. It happens basically because of extreme poverty and because there’s not enough money to put enough police out there. Combine those two and this will happen in your neck of the woods as well. Instead of falling for the “it wont happen to the good old boys around here” think about realistic planning to protect your property.

FerFAL

Crime gangs rampage on the pampas

Bands of thieves are causing havoc across Argentina's farming heartland as the country's cash crisis spreads, writes Sophie Arie in Arrecifes

 
Published: 12:01AM BST 14 Oct 2002

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/1410155/Crime-gangs-rampage-on-the-pampas.html

Luis Gerli scans the flat horizon of Argentina's vast pampas plains in despair. "All this space. You never know where the thieves will strike next. All you know is the police won't be there," said the 50-year-old farmer near the sleepy town of Arrecifes, 100 miles north-west of Buenos Aires.
Bands of thieves are causing havoc across the farming heartland of Argentina, slaughtering cattle, stealing horses and siphoning tonnes of grain from silos.

Farmers are left with only the heads, feet and guts of their £200 animals. They blame "delinquents" who slaughter the cattle in the fields, hauling off prime cuts on bicycles or in vans.
As Argentina has agonised through its worst economic crisis this year, isolated from world markets and crippled by debt, crime has spread from the cities to the once peaceful pampas, the size of France. This sea of rich grassland, crops and grazing cattle has turned into a kind of South American Wild West.
Farmers are carrying guns and local people report frequent hold-ups and gunfights with thieves prowling around corrals and silos at night. Ranchers have been killed, beaten and burnt alive in their once peaceful homes by attackers hunting for secret hoards of cash.
"Everyone has a gun," said Mr Gerli, who was tied up and beaten at gunpoint by a gang who stormed his house in February. "I have decided to be armed now. If I have to take someone out, I'll do it. No problem. You have to defend yourself."
In Arrecifes, two farmers alone have lost 37 cows in two weeks.
Last year, as the country's crisis deepened, 21,000 animals, worth more than £6 million, were stolen in the pampas, triple the number stolen in the whole country in 1999, according to the government agricultural security chief, Domingo Malagamba.
While some are simply stealing meat to eat, most are part of an increasingly elaborate black market network, cashing in on the countryside where the collapse of the peso this year has raised the values of grain and cattle. A cow hide worth 100 pesos in Argentina can be exported for more than £60, nearly four times its peso value last year.
With the price of grain rising on international markets, many farmers prefer to save their crops in a silo than put pesos in the country's crippled banks. But sophisticated gangs siphon off lorryloads of grain to sell on for export.

Ingenious thieves in the northern province of Santiago del Estero even took a lorryload of cattle hostage recently, demanding a ransom for their return. Locals say thieves take orders from local butchers or large-scale exporters before raiding the fields.
Police complain that they are short of staff and cannot afford the petrol or torches to chase the "delinquents" around this open space. But many say the police themselves, who earn £70 a month, are part of the problem.
"Everyone knows who the thieves are," said Fortunato Chiapparra, who farms in Arroyo Corto, 425 miles south of Buenos Aires.
"The police force needs a clean out, no question," said Hugo Ali, the police chief of Arrecifes. "The problem is there are people who join the police because it's easier to steal and you're less likely to be caught." Only two per cent of crimes end in a prison sentence. "There's no real justice in this country," said Hugo Machetti, representative of a farmers' association in Pergamino, in the north of Buenos Aires province.
"They catch the thieves one day, and the next morning you bump into them in the street." Yet prisons are full to bursting point and 15 new ones are planned. The province of Buenos Aires, where around 70 per cent of crime takes place, declared a prison emergency this week, saying it would house overflowing prisoners temporarily in freight containers.

The pampas have always provided Argentina's riches, earning the nation its reputation as the bread basket and the "meat capital" of the world early last century.
Argentines now stand aghast as poverty and hunger affect more than half the population in a country that continues to produce more food than it can eat.
President Jorge Batlle of Uruguay described the people of his larger neighbour earlier this year as "a band of thieves". Many believe that an endemic rule-bending, profiteering mentality has helped to reduce a naturally rich land to an economic disaster.
"Finding ways around the rules is a national pastime," said Sylvina Walger, a sociologist. "There is no structure in Argentine society to make people resist temptation."


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I imagine many nations will experience the same fate as those in Argentina, but it doesn't have to be that way, imho.

Instead of losing £6 million in livestock, why don't Argentinian farmers use a small portion of that sum and form cattleman's associations for protection? Is that not allowed?

Why don't the farmers form alliances with the local butchers or large-scale exporters to reduce theft?

It appears the police force doesn't need a clean out, it needs to be replaced.

"They catch the thieves one day, and the next morning you bump into them in the street." Ostracism and threats of banishment might work to prevent this, and work better in the long run than would building more prisons which really don't solve Anything.

A period of time in a jail can be both enjoyable and a time of friendship for the religious person and the criminal.

The article equates things in South America with,"the wild west" but it doesn't seem that way at all, not according to this well written article,

The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality

http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803

The violence in the U.S., "wild west" wasn't that violent. Violence was prevented by private security a.k.a. realistic planning, much of the violence that did occur was due to government policy.

I noticed a complaint that guns and carry permits were difficult or impossible to get in Argentina, which is not the case in many parts of the U.S..

It appears Mr Gerli wasn't armed the first time he was robbed, quite unlike many in the U.S., nor did Mr. Gerli belong to a private group providing security.

Do you suppose these factors will help to produce a different outcome in the U.S.?

It seems that like in the U.S., "wild west" the violence that does occur in Argentina is supported by government involvement, from things like regulation of arms, heavy taxation (& spending?) protectionism, and monopoly (union) enforcement preventing things from stabilizing. And yet somehow an endemic rule-bending, profiteering mentality is blamed on creating an economic disaster which appears to be caused by government?

Typical propaganda on a brainwashed population. Something that is worldwide in scope.

Life in Argentina seems to be more about enduring tyranny, not simply surviving economic collapse. In that case, being among populations who have the will to nullify the debilitating effects from tyrannical centralized national government may be the best survival strategy. Many states in the U.S. have a recent history of nullification, other countries might do well to follow their lead?

Anonymous said...

The article equates things in South America with,"the wild west" but it doesn't seem that way at all, not according to this well written article,

The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality

http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803

The violence in the U.S., "wild west" wasn't that violent. Violence was prevented by private security a.k.a. realistic planning, much of the violence that did occur was due to government policy.

I noticed a complaint that guns and carry permits were difficult or impossible to get in Argentina, which is not the case in many parts of the U.S..

It appears Mr Gerli wasn't armed the first time he was robbed, quite unlike many in the U.S., nor did Mr. Gerli belong to a private group providing security.

Do you suppose these factors will help to produce a different outcome in the U.S.?

It seems that like in the U.S., "wild west" the violence that does occur in Argentina is supported by government involvement, from things like regulation of arms, heavy taxation (& spending?) protectionism, and monopoly (union) enforcement preventing things from stabilizing. And yet somehow an endemic rule-bending, profiteering mentality is blamed on creating an economic disaster which appears to be caused by government?

Typical propaganda on a brainwashed population. Something that is worldwide in scope.

Life in Argentina seems to be more about enduring tyranny, not simply surviving economic collapse. In that case, being among populations who have the will to nullify the debilitating effects from tyrannical centralized national government may be the best survival strategy. Many states in the U.S. have a recent history of nullification, other countries might do well to follow their lead?

Anna said...

Anon, I have actually noticed a similar correlation between lawlessness and tyranny. Half of my extended family comes from a politically unstable country in the Middle East, and from reading Ferfal's blog, I have also seen a weird similarity. It does seem to be less about poverty and more about tyranny.

I dunno if you have ever had a run-in with the law in another country (I have) but it is vastly different from one here (USA). Granted, American cops do go to far a lot, but it is still different. Like even the worst American cop still has limits on how far he can go without penalty. It is not cool to stare down a cop who does not have such limits, and who does not speak the same language as you. (how do I know this? haha).

So there are some half-disjointed thoughts, but I have noticed the same thing as you.

ghpacific said...

Anna,
Luckily, Ferfal had posted some videos earlier about never talking to police because "anything you say can be used AGAINST you" never for you. So I learned the easy way. My other thought is that at least if you're a farmer, you at least have enough land in which to bury your abusers. Pity the suburbanites with guns and no land. (Today's word verification is 'pricker'!?) Jodido.

Anonymous said...

I second with what Anonymous said (posted 8:07pm) about America, i.e., "the wild west". There is a huge difference between what real Americans who love our Country do - and what other countries indulge in, I have noticed. Different cultures have varying levels of understanding (some go back as far as the 3rd century...) but we all bring different things to the table, so to speak, positive and negative. Americans were and have never been a tyrannical people or just out to hurt others. Never. It is not in our DNA. We, as a people have always helped others, we are enormously generous and we are famous for defending the underdog. We, as a people do not tyrannize and the best of us are a law abiding and good people. This is what is the basic difference between us and most other nations in the world. We were founded on spiritual principle. This is exactly what makes us different. My experience (which is also what I happen to love about us) is that we are always creatively progressive with a can-do attitude and the best of us will fight to the end to defend our beautiful great Country. This is why everyone wants to come here and "take over"....Americans have made it great through our own hard work and initiative (and our respect for the laws we have) and we're happy with our Country so we don't seek to tyrannize the weak and unfortunate nor do we rob our neighbors. This is America. As for our own personal problems that we are currently experiencing in our Country, it is just about time to clean house (WH included), kick some major butt and take names later. God bless all of us.

Anonymous said...

Did you read the whole article?

http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803

It make quite clear that the American government performed genocide against the Native Americans. Sherman even called it 'the Final Solution'.

Hardly justifies your claim about how kind and helpful the Americans are.